FROM PLACE TO PLACE: Travels with Paul Tilltch, Travels without Paul Tillich by Hannah Tillich

FROM PLACE TO PLACE: Travels with Paul Tilltch, Travels without Paul Tillich

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1973 the author, widow of Protestant theologian Paul Tillich, published an intimate, and to many, shocking memoir of their marriage which, Hannah now insists, was merely ""a description of their life style."" Here Hannah, who tartly refers to herself as ""the old woman,"" embarks on a journey of liberation from self-created ""terror and enchantment""--via travel notes from the past, brief journal entries by ""Paulus,"" bits of poetry, and an incomprehensible playlet. The first journey, in the '70s, sets the tone: ""It had all been in being there, standing and looking. . . refusing intimacy. . . never relinquishing the sense of [one's] own foreignness. . . ."" In Europe, Asia, Mexico, the Caribbean, even at the Columbia barricades in the '60s, Hannah listens, questions, absorbs, stares down. With and without Tillich she visits shrines and tombs, streets and fields, all things harmonious and ugly. In a cathedral in Seville she sees ""priests beautifully intoning the Litany. But coming out of the service. . . they became Sancho Panzas with cunning, full-cheeked peasant faces."" The worlds of the theologian and his widow parallel, cross, and part, and this is both a communion and a ""shedding of skin."" The portraits of people and places are ruthlessly efficient, the tone is restless, sometimes angry and impatient, always persistent and vital. All of which comes from being there, in a landscape--or a life.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1976
Publisher: Stein & Day